Former bakery and former pharmacy among the new entrants of the Good Beer Guide
The 2022 edition of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) guide to good beers features a total of 229 pubs from the West Midlands, Staffordshire and North Worcestershire.
Included for the first time is Love & Liquor at Codsall, which opened in a former store just two years ago.
“This village center bar is a great beer choice in Codsall,” says the guide, praising the cozy downstairs bar with a wood-burning stove.
The legendary Trumpet jazz bar in Bilston returns to the guide after a three-year absence, and is praised for its welcoming atmosphere.
“Holden’s award-winning beers and music draw customers from across the region,” the guide explains, adding that the walls are lined with musical memorabilia.
The Duke of Cambridge is also back after a three-year absence at Short Heath, near Willenhall.
Owned by Black Country Ales, it is described as a ‘traditional, warm and welcoming pub converted from 17th century cottages’ with a wood-burning stove and wooden beams.
Another novelty for 2022 is the Royal Tiger, a former bakery converted by the JD Wetherspoon chain. Named after an old pub that stood next door, the pub is praised for its knowledgeable staff and work in promoting small breweries.
Another new entry is the Malt Shovel at Dudley.
“Originally known as Lord Wellington in the 19th century, this exciting and trendy downtown establishment offers a popular balance of locally produced beers on tap and modern national beers at the bar,” says the guide. .
Micropubs in older stores continue to be popular, and one of the more original new entries in the 2022 guide is the Old Langley Dispensary near Oldbury.
The old pharmacy is acclaimed for its “real progressive and adventurous beers”.
The guide adds: “Small in size, but big in ideas, the place offers high quality casks, crafts and ciders.”
The pub opened in February 2017 and was Camra branch cider pub of the year in 2018.
Hednesford’s first micropub, Heddin’s Ford, is also featured in the new guide.
Ye Olde Seven Stars in Kidderminster, who won bronze in the 2019 Camra Local Pub of the Year contest, returns in the guide for 2022.
Another new entry into the city is the Bear & Wolf, a modern downtown pub that opened in 2019.
The Robin in Drayton, near Belbroughton, also makes the 2022 guide, with special mention for the quality of its home cooking.
“A welcoming country pub, refurbished while retaining the feel of a rural retreat”, is how the guide describes it.
The Foresters Arms, on the edge of Wollaston in Stourbridge, also comes back to the guide, along with the New Inn at Wordsley.
A total of 79 breweries from across the region are featured in the guide, with Trinity in Lichfield and Brew 61 in Bromsgrove among the new additions.
Websters Brewhouse in Wollaston, Stourbridge no longer exists, having temporarily closed in October of last year. Gray Friars in Featherstone, near Wolverhampton, and Shugborough in Milford, near Stafford, are still listed although brewing has been suspended.